A 38-year-old man was arrested for robbing a gold shop at the Thiec Market in Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday.
District 11 police are trying to determine if Tran Kha Lam had any accomplices.
Police say Lam spent Sunday afternoon casing several gold and jewelry shops at the market.
At around 3 p.m, he pulled a stone out of his pocket and smashed a glass display case at the Ngoc Thanh shop and stole some jewelry inside.
The shop owner Dang Van Hiep, his wife and his brother chased after Lam and caught him down the street.
At the police station, Lam told officers he robbed the shop to feed his drug habit, news website VnExpress reported.
The stolen jewelry, valued at nearly VND19 million (US$893), was returned to the shop owner.
Police said Lam is single and has spent time in jail for two robbery convictions.
Courts have ordered him into drug rehabilitation centers twice.
He became homeless after being discharged from the rehabilitation center in 2013 because his siblings had sold the house left to them by their deceased parents.
On July 2, he drank four beers with his friends in District 12 before committing the crime.
Hiep, the gold shop owner, said he opened the shop a few months ago and has yet to equip it with surveillance cameras and hire guards.
Ngoc Thanh is one of more than ten gold and jewelry shops at the Thiec Market in HCMC’s District 11. Most of them are located on the street and are protected only by the guards employed by the market.
Gold shop robberies committed by drug addicts have become more common recently.
Last week, police in the southern province of Binh Duong, which neighbors Ho Chi Minh City, arrested two stickup men who stole between 20 and 30 ounces of jewelry during a 13-second gold heist committed on June 18.
Nguyen Thanh Sang, 29 and his accomplice Vuong Quoc Thanh, 27 pointed a fake gun at the employees of the Kim Nguyet shop and smashed through a display case before grabbing the jewelry and fleeing on a bike.